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Beds in process .. getting ready for WS plants

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Since the weather has finally been nice - I decided to go out and start preparing some beds.

basically, weeding, pulling grass and just turning the soil.

Most of the area I work on is technically not my yard, but a field way behind my home... but if i had not been working on it the past 7-8 yrs, it would be a mass of goldrod and cut leaf teasel as far as the eye can see.

Here is a photo taking while i was sitting on my back patio yesterday.... from the patio to the fence is only 20' ... and my rough guestimate is another 120' to that back [highway] fence.

Buddy is keeping watch....

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

here is one specific area that got worked on.

the past few yrs it has just been Rhubarb ... but the summer of 08 my neighbor dumped all sorts of 'stuff' in my compost bin [i'm still picking chicken bones out of the soil] ... so i dumped the entire bin, covered it with cardboard and then soil.
Spring of 2009 I planted some annuals, ornamental peppers, some WS'ed wild flowers and a few other WS'ed plants.

the bed looked OK last year... but it will be better this year.

Since i knew most of what was there were annuals, i was able to dug up most of the weeds/grass. Pulled out 6 little Husker Reds and potted them up - hopefully they will go to good homes.

the Rhubarb is starting to emerge .... as are a few of the perennials from last year.. though i'm not sure what they all are... the few plant tags i had faded [darned paint pen]

Oh.. i also found the Jacob Cline starting to grow... I caged it so i know where to find it.. Luckily I know what Monarda looks like so i dont pull it.

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

here is a newer one I'm also spending more time on this year... the area previous photo is just to the lower right in this image... i have a path of grass, one lawn mower width in between the two small beds.

This one... and i cleaned it up after the photo was taken ... has Cone Flowers, Agastache and Verbena Stricta and a lot of weeds.

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

this area i photograph A LOT during the summer/blooming months....

I call it the Bunny Bush, as early on, the Bunnies used to hide under it. It's been collapsing over the yrs as I've been cutting back the wild Grape, as it gets out of control.

But 90% of what is grown here has been WS'ed.

This message was edited Mar 17, 2010 9:28 AM

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

and here is an area i'm considering working on -- I was thinking a nice bed of Holly Hocks and wild flowers....

two problems... the neighbors dog uses it as his personal toilet and LOTS of weeds that will take me some time to get under control. [see next image]

this are is maybe 80' long... I"m standing at the west end of it.

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

cut leaf teasel rosettes. lots of'em.

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

here is my "Bunny Bush" area in full bloom...

This message was edited Mar 17, 2010 9:34 AM

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

another favorite

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Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Beautiful!

Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

Wow Tcs looks great! Love the Bunny Bush area! I have no idea where to plant everything I am growing this year. I think I have a lot of work ahead... I have this big pile of dirt in my yard that needs to be moved. If I remember right I was going to get some Scabiosa out to you in spring? Do you have room?

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks Meredith... i actually bought some... i know i know... why buy seeds... but they are "Summer Berries Mix"
big 2" blooms and gorgeous colors. If i get a bunch of blooms... i'll be saving them for sure.

You can save the seeds for next years swap. I would still like to have some "blue" one day...

and behind my Bunny Bush... I've been cleaning back there... got a good area cleared before the snow hit on Saturday.

but i have a lot of that Garlic Mustard back there i need to eradicate -- that stuff is nasty.. i just doesnt give up.

Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

Is the garlic mustard the vine type plant? I didn't even think that was a weed! lol I wonder if it is good for butterflies? I know some eat the mustard family, not sure if that is actually in that family though.

Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

I orderd some Scabiosa seed but it isn't a perennial - it's a mix I got at swallowtails. I think they are supposed to be fragrant. I am on a fragrant flower kick this year. Oh and a re seeding annual kick too. : )

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

OH.. you dont wanna eat this mustard... this stuff is an invasive nightmare!! and no, its not a vine.

Alliaria petiolata
http://dnr.wi.gov/invasives/fact/garlic.htm

Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

I checked your link - I see that in my yard from time to time. Lol I didn't mean I'd eat it, I was wondering if it could be used as a host by caterpillars of butterflies. : ) I looked it up and it's in the Brassicaceae family, however even if it could be a host plant, I'm sure there are much better things to grow for them, where that one is such a problem. What is the vine looking plant in the bunny area pic? It looks like it has heart shape leaves and serrated edges..

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

>>Lol I didn't mean I'd eat it,

LOL and i did find recipes on that site... yick, i'd never eat that stuff.

OH... that would either be the Wild Grape... though i did have some MG"s [grandpa Ott] growing back there one year... **looked back at the image... that is the Wild Grape.

I've never seen butterflies on or near the Mustard.

it's so ironic... I bought my childhood home back in 1998 from Mom. When i was doing some weeding one day... i stumbled upon a HUGE patch of the garlic mustard... so i asked my mom where it came from... and she said... Oh i found it at the Nature Center, thought is was pretty so i brought it home." I lived there for another 13 yrs, never fully got rid of it.

This message was edited Mar 23, 2010 6:53 AM

Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

Thanks for the id, I knew it looked familiar! I see it around here too. So ironic that a nature center sent someone home with an invasive and now they are probably the ones banning it as invasive.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Well, i do know that the Nature Center had tons of volunteers each year picking that nasty stuff. When my kid was in Boy Scouts, that was one of their duties.

I'm sure mom just pulled some out, roots and all and planted it. **shakes head**
though this was way before computers, so it's not like she could have looked it up... she was walking Molly [her Golden at teh time] and probably just grabbed some.

at least i dont have it in my yard here... but it's back in the field.

I'll try to remember to take the camera out with me tomorrow... weather forecast said... more sun tomorrow... so i'll be out back doing something.

Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

Too funny, at least it gives you a nice memory of her. :)

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

well, the weather liars lied for todays weather.
yesterday they said it would be sunnier than yesterday, which was gorgeous [50's but sunny]
so i planned to spend part of hte day working in the flower beds... i have not seen one iota of sun today and now they are talking rain.

I spent a few hrs cleaning out weeds and dead stuff -- have pics but my kid is using my PC for homework. [now why did i buy him his own laptop?]
but all that kneeling and pulling - my back is aching.

I direct sown some Nasties, Marigolds, Painted Daisies and Fountain grass. I even put in plant markers so i dont pull them when they germinate.

OH and Meredith... i did find some of the Butterfly Blue in my seed basket. Guess i did not use them all yet. Hopefully i'll have energy to sow tonight... i have some seeds soaking, and need to get them in soil.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

here is the area i'm trying to clean up... 3 images, 3 different yrs.

Here is 2008, the first yr for really planting in this area.

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

a little clipping here and there....

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

this was a few days ago... .

today i did mostly weeding | grass pulling [i'll have pics of that too]

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

this is A LOT of what i pulled today, including grass....

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

this was the main 'front of the bed' area i worked on...

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

here is most of the bed....

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Greenville, IN(Zone 6a)

Gosh that's a lot of work Terese! Gotta love those bare ground pictures but gotta tell ya I'd be having a good stiff drink about now! Looks like you are fighting about what I'm fighting here lol Looks like you are winning though not fair! Can't wait to see all those pretty flowers this year.

Tony and I worked on my herb bed yesterday but about all I can see is that limelight wormwood just hoping it didn't take over my skullcaps I'm really sweating those I don't know what posessed me to plant that wormwood in my herb bed lol

I'll have to take a picture of my side yard Robin is coming Sat. so I'm going to hit her up to help me with my camera keep your fingers crossed for me lol She's coming to dig plants so I can't get her too tired to help me :) She may have to make another trip for more plants :)

You even thought to use the plant markers I'm proud of you girl!

Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

Lookin good Terese! Lea I hope Robin helps you figure out the camera! I would love to see pics of your gardens! Maybe you could get her to get back there in June when your gardens are in their glory! That would be awesome. : )

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks Lea and Meredith....

and i didnt have a stiff drink, maybe a weak one with some Aleve. Feeling good now.

I really just plug along doing little 'pieces' until it's all finished, working an hour or two, sometimes 4-5 weather depending. Then the fun part starts, planting and waiting for it all to fill in.

Hopefully I'll have some great photos this summer/fall.

Trenton, MI(Zone 5b)

Teresa, I really enjoyed reading through these posts. You sure have been working hard! I can't wait to see your gardens in full bloom.
I'm pretty happy with the germination I've been getting in my 8 WS'd containers. 7 have germinated. Far better than I've ever gotten before.

Looking forward to seeing more pictures of you WS'd beds.
toofew

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Terese, have you ever tried lasagna gardening? It's a whole lot easier, and works so well.

Karen

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Karen - I've done it only in one location. I started turning the weed bed / field into flower beds back in 03 I think.. it's been a slow process, but since these beds already have perennials in them, I couldn't do the lasagna thing, right?

the image in the 2nd post, that are I 'sort of' did the lasagna thing.... back in 08, my neighbor had been putting 'all sorts of stuff' in my compost tumbler, it sort of got out of control and was so wet, i could no longer use it... So i dumped the contents of the tumbler and put down cardboard then topped it with soil. [i think that was the order]

The following year, i put in plants. it worked pretty well. though i'm still finding chicken bones when i did. Luckily, my dog is not.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Terese, I have done my own version of a "modified" lasagna bed like this. I covered the surface with newspaper but didn't cover the existing perennials. I put down the newspaper around and between the perennials. I topped that with organic mulch, mostly grass clippings and leaves and half-done compost but kept it a few inches away from existing perennials. I used about 8" of mulch I think. It made for wonderful results- nice soil and healthy existing plants and the level of dirt wasn't raised at all, or not noticeably so. (i.e. the perennials didn't end up planted too deep.

Karen

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

thanks karen. that makes sense. So, i can do that in the Fall then? and I do seem to extend the beds just a lil bit every year too... so doing that method should make things easier in the following spring.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

When I did it, it was in fall. You should be able to do it any time of year, though.

Karen

Buckley, WA(Zone 7b)

Terese, I am doing the very same thing that Karen is doing. I get cardboard from a local Ben Franklin store and an auto body shop and put it down as I get it. I put rocks on it to keep them from blowing away. Then, as I get leaves and grass clippings, I dump them on top. I cover that with a layer of compost as I get it. I just mowed yesterday and dumped my first load of grass clippings. I don't wait to plant, just plant as I want to. We are on 5 acres, and I don't have the energy to dig up all of that grass/weeds.

Lea, btw, I have a lot of your seeds germinating. I have almost 150 germinating containers now, out of approx 500. I have milk jugs, deli containers and seed flats everywhere!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

holy cow Lynn... where do you get the energy??
and I knew you had a lot of land.. but 5 areas, good for you.
I'd love to have about 40 someday... but with lots of woods.

I'll get some goats to mow for me. ;-)

Greenville, IN(Zone 6a)

Well I just went out and took some pictures of my beds now I just might be able to show them to you Terese after Robin leaves Sat. lol Took some pictures of my hellebores and plumonaria too :)

All of those acres would drive me crazy lol I can barely deal with almost two keeping it looking half way decent, sometimes I can go thru pictures from when I first moved out here and it was so neat and manicured but there were no flowers at all now there are leaf beds, weeds in the flower beds it just looks so messy to me sometimes with trying to keep up with all these beds lol I'm hoping to get it all straightened out this year last year just set me back way too much!

Lynn, was just going to dmail you and ask about the patens salvias I have three that have germinated for me so far just planted them last week :) 500 containers??? No way you must have been planting in your dreams! I've never heard of someone planting that many before LOL U go girl!

Buckley, WA(Zone 7b)

http://davesgarden.com/tools/journal/viewbycat.php?cat=83703 Here's my Seed Journal (if I did this right).

I am fortunate enough to have 2 8x12 glass GH. (We got them cheap off Craig's List, they were in need of repair) The 2nd one just got completed and I have practically lived in there the last 2 months (sowing seeds). I sowed most of the seeds that I got from the Piggy Swap and my own saved seeds. Two days ago, I was saddened because I have sowed some of most everything I have. Now comes the hard part - planning where to plant them all (and actually doing it.)
Here is my Unheated GH that just is now filled with seed flats and containers (added many more since the picture was taken.)

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Buckley, WA(Zone 7b)

Here are some of the Salvias from you, LeBug

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